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Jabali Afrika to Perform on Sunday, March 4

Posted February 21, 2001

HOLLAND -- Jabali Afrika of Kenya will perform at Hope College on Sunday, March 4, at 8 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre, located at 86 E. 8th St.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The four-member Jabali Afrika presents original compositions and traditional African melodies on a wide variety of instruments in combination with vocal harmonies. The musical presentation is complemented by dancing and traditional African tribal costumes.

The band traces its origins to the Kenya National Theater Dance Troupe. Five members of the troupe broke away in 1993 and formed what is now known as Jabali Afrika.

"Jabali" is Kiswahili, Kenya's national language, for "Rock." The group's original members used to meet on a large rock to discuss how to advance their musical careers.

Three of the five founding members remain with Jabali Afrika. Today, the group is comprised of Joseck Asikoye, Victor Elolo, Justo Asikoye and Bernard Kapima.

The band won the Best Traditional Adaptation award in Kenya in 1994, and has since toured extensively in Europe, Japan and the United States. In the spring of 1995, the band was invited to headline the African Heritage Festival tour of Germany and Austria, which stopped at more than 40 cities.

Among other domestic and international television and radio appearances, the group has been on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and "Good Morning America," in addition to being featured on the British Broadcasting Corporation and Radio France. The band has released two compact discs in Europe and, most recently, a third, titled "Journey," in the United States.

The concert is co-sponsored by the college's Hispanic Student Organization, Hope's Asian Perspective Association and Black Coalition.

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